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[n. sed-uh-muh nt; v. sed-uh-ment] /n. ˈsɛd ə mənt; v. ˈsɛd əˌmɛnt/
the matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid; lees; dregs.
Geology. mineral or organic matter deposited by water, air, or ice.
verb (used with object)
to deposit as sediment.
verb (used without object)
to form or deposit sediment.
Origin of sediment
1540-50; < Latin sedimentum, equivalent to sedi- (combining form of sedēre to sit1, settle) + -mentum -ment
Related forms
sedimentous, adjective
self-sedimented, adjective
Can be confused
sand, sediment, silt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sediment
  • The metal atoms stick to these minerals and drop out of the solution to form an inert sediment.
  • sediment is solid material that is moved and deposited in a new location.
  • Finally our olive oil is ready to be bottled after sitting in darkness to let the sediment settle.
  • Regard the museum as a palimpsest, or exposed layers of sediment.
  • In the rim, the sediment, that stands for all the water and all the land of the globe.
  • sediment removed within the shipping channel was used to fill in the flats.
  • It transmits oils and sediment, the entire coffee flavor, and--because the filter isn't paper--nothing else.
  • The rim, the sediment that stands for all the water and all the land of the globe.
  • Most serious wine consumers do not mind not being able to drink the last half ounce of wine because of sediment.
  • Both of these permanent filters allow the flavorful oils and minute sediment into the cup to preserve the flavor.
British Dictionary definitions for sediment


matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid
material that has been deposited from water, ice, or wind
Derived Forms
sedimentous (ˌsɛdɪˈmɛntəs) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin sedimentum a settling, from sedēre to sit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sediment

1540s, "matter which settles at the bottom of water or other liquid," from Middle French sédiment (16c.) and directly from Latin sedimentum "a settling, sinking down," from stem of sedere "to settle, sit" (see sedentary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sediment in Medicine

sediment sed·i·ment (sěd'ə-mənt)
Insoluble material that sinks to the bottom of a liquid, as in hypostasis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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sediment in Science
  1. Geology Solid fragmented material, such as silt, sand, gravel, chemical precipitates, and fossil fragments, that is transported and deposited by water, ice, or wind or that accumulates through chemical precipitation or secretion by organisms, and that forms layers on the Earth's surface. Sedimentary rocks consist of consolidated sediment.

  2. Chemistry

  3. Particles of solid matter that settle out of a suspension to the bottom of the liquid.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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